BUKOLA SARAKI: THE INDEFATIGABLE HOPE OF THE HOPLELESS IN 2023
By Usman Abdullahi Koli
Nigeria, a country that is globally known for its numerous number of both, natural and human resources but unfortunately, for decades have been falling into the hands of covetous leaders. First sets of leaders after independence built it to be the best, not only in Africa but in the whole world. Sadly, some of the democratic leaders changed it to a country that import what it can produce, As each of them have the chance to do as he or she pleased . The country that was immediately after independence had dedicative, patriotic and selfless leaders, unfortunately their dreams were cut short by a bloody coup. Mass majority of citizens are living hopelessly; that is why National Bureau of Statistic stated that 83 million Nigerians are living in abject poverty. In each of the six geo-political zones, one could find bedeviling forms of challenges that require urgent interventions but still not properly handled.
Amidst all these commotions and challenges, come one in millions; Abubakar Bukola Saraki who has been an unrelenting philanthropist, employer through chains of his businesses, poverty eradicator through his foundations, and host of other efforts in redeeming the lost glory of ordinary countrymen. Youths that are often referred to as the bedrock of developments are largely unemployed; that unemployment makes them vulnerable to societal criminalities. The current messy condition of Nigeria which encompasses insecurities, inflation, sessional agitations, recession, high level of poverty but all can be solved by Saraki who is unanimously agreed that he is honest, dedicative, religious, hardworking and suitable to take Nigeria to promise land.
Abubakar Bukola Saraki was born in December 1962 to the family of Olusola Saraki, who was a Senator in Nigerian Second Republic and Florence Morenike in London. He attended King’s College, Lagos where he graduated in 1978. Saraki moved to Cheltenham College, a public boarding school in the United Kingdom, from 1979 to 1981. He later proceeded to London Hospital Medical College of the University of London, from 1982 to 1987, where he obtained a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery. Bukola Saraki worked as a medical officer at Rush Green Hospital Essex, from 1988 to 1989. He was a Director of Societe Generale Bank (Nig) Ltd from 1990 to 2000. Saraki was appointed in 2000 by President Olusegun Obasanjo, as Special Assistant to the President on Budget.
Bukola Saraki ran as candidate, for Governorship of Kwara State . Under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he won by highest number of votes which led to defeating the incumbent Governor, Muhammed Lawal of the defunct ANPP. The amiable Saraki reformed agriculture, infrastructure, health, education, power generation and environment policy. One of his major achievement was inviting displaced farmers from Zimbabwe to Kwara State and offered them an opportunity to farm there. It led to the establishment of Shonga Farms program which is now being replicated across Nigeria. Under the leadership of Saraki, Kwara became the first State to complete the Nigerian Independence Power Project. Also, in collaboration with the then Power Holding Company of Nigeria, he re-energized the Ganmo Power Station at Ilorin and connected over 3750 communities.
In 2007, Saraki became the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, as Chairman, he worked assiduously in reforming and unifying relationship with other State Governors. The forum under him also developed a Memoranda of Understanding with a number of international organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Bank, DFID, GAVI, UNICEF, UNDP and host of others. In 2011, after Saraki served as Governor of Kwara for two tenures, he was elected as Senator of Kwara Central Senatorial District under PDP, Saraki was re-elected in 2015 under APC and the Senators elected him unopposed as the President of the Senate. He established GLOBE Nigeria, an affiliate of the Global Legislators organization.
Patriotism and willingness to serve humanity, are virtues that keeps him active and never relent in contesting. Because he is financially stable not like other candidates. During his term as Senator, he promoted the national Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency Amendment (NOSDRA) Bill. He also spearheaded the issue of Lead Poisoning crisis in the mining areas of; Zamfara State and Great Green Wall to combat desertification and climate change. Looking at the contingent challenges slowing Nigeria’s progress and developments, first of all insecurities which has spread to many Northern States and where Saraki came from was once ravaged by communal clashes. Insecurity which has been in Nigeria for long is still an impediment that’s dragging Northern States backward, Saraki who is from the same North would not let it eliminate Christians and Muslims without putting an end to it.
Banditry and kidnappings are other forms of insecurity that cover mass abduction of students from their schools and rich individuals. Saraki usually condemns it in his tweets, and on several occasions advised and forwarded solutions to the rightful authorities. When it comes to poverty eradication and employments, Saraki who is a doctor and politician have expertise so vast ; that would pave way for him in educating youths and train those that were not opportuned to attend schools on skills. Saraki’s good reputations and excellent records would inspire foreigners to invest hugely, which could in turn boost the Nigeria’s economy. The devaluation of Naira and inflation in the prices of food and commodities would end. if Saraki is given a chance in seminars, annual general meetings of industries, he attended in the course of his leadership .The foreigners he’ll collaborate with, would be a blueprint to be used for the betterment of Nigerians.
Dr. Bukola has consistently fought and rejected all forms of corruption against him, because he never accept or give bribe which led to his victory in all corruption allegations labeled on him. There is no single politician who is using his hard-earned money to support people, especially ordinary citizens and invested hugely in education like Saraki. He sponsored many to continue pursuing their studies through his charitable foundation; he spend a lot on those from poor families. Saraki’s active philanthropic activities alone are clear qualities that made him different from other egocentric politicians, that aim positions just to garner public fund for themselves and their families. Turaki of the Fulani emirate of Ilorin during his tenure as Governor, a Turaki is the officer at court in the Hausa-Fulani kingdoms chieftaincy systems.
Intelligent Saraki was the first former Nigerian Governor to be awarded as ‘Commander of the Order of the Niger’ (CON), he was appointed onto the leadership council of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.., an initiative led by the United Nations Foundation. Still, in April, 2019, Dr. Bukola Saraki was appointed the ‘Ambassador at Large’ of the International Human Rights Commission. In conclusion, Abubakar Bukola Saraki therefore is the only candidates that has seen so many projects, policies, and programmes of the past leaders did not correlate with their party manifestos and campaign promises; ideas he garnered through selfless services to humanity would help him make Nigeria a country with less poverty, low unemployment rate, conducive for investors, safest for explorers in the entire African continent. Vote Saraki as President, for the greater Nigeria of our Dreams!!.
Usman Abdullahi Koli,
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